Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (2024)

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (1)

The dwarf Meyer lemon tree that The Astronomer’s parents gifted us two years ago produced only three fruits this season, which meant that there was only enough juice, zest, and flesh to execute one lemon-intensive recipe. After scrounging my bookshelves, the internet, and a fantastic article titled “100 things to do with a Meyer lemon”for a very worthy candidate, I settled on this Meyer lemon curd tart by Chef Anne Burrell. Cakes and cookies were all in the running, but I ultimately chose a curd-based creation to let the fruit’s one-of-a-kind flavor shine through cleanly and brightly.

While I usually bake solo due to lack of counter space in the kitchen, I recruited The Astronomer to make the shortbread crust because he’s got a cool touch that’s perfect for working, shaping, and forming dough. This left me in charge of the filling, which came together as simply as the recipe billed, although it was a touch too sweet for our tastes. The original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups sugar, but a single cup would’ve been more suitable for our puckery palates—the recipe below reflects this preference.

Our tag-team effort yielded a most lovely tart—smooth curd cradled by a delicate, buttery crust. While it would’ve been awesome to have had a more bountiful lemon harvest this season, we maximized our Meyer lemon pleasure with this simple but immensely satisfying tart. Ain’t nothin’ like California citrus.

What else to make with Meyer lemons? Last year, The Astronomer made a dynamite Shrimp Piri Piri, while I baked blissfully bitter muffins.

For the crust

  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pea size pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

For the curd

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 3 Meyer lemons, zested
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pats

Make the dough

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (2)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the butter, sugar, flour, egg yolk and salt in a food processor and pulse for 30 to 60 seconds or until the mixture has a grainy consistency, or what Chef Anne Burrell likes to call the “Parmesan cheese” stage. Add half of the water and pulse the food processor 2 to 3 times. The dough should start to come together, add the remaining water if needed. Check the consistency of the dough by clenching a small handful in your fist. If the dough stays together it is the proper consistency. If not, pulse the dough with a little more water.

When the dough has reached the proper consistency, dump it out on a clean work surface. Using the heel of your hand, schmear the dough straight forward and roll it back with your fingertips. Repeat this process 1 to 2 more times, dust with flour if needed. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (3)

On a generously-floured work surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/4-inch in thickness. Lay the dough in the tart pan. Push the dough into the sides of the tart pan using well-floured fingers. Roll over the top edge of the tart pan with the rolling pin to cut the extra dough from the pan and create a crisp edge.

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (4)

Cover the dough with aluminum foil and gently poke the foil into the side edges to fit the pan. This will help to keep the sides of the tart tall and straight as it cooks. Fill the tart shell with the dried beans and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, remove the foil and beans and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the tart shell from the oven and cool. The dough should be golden and crisp.

Make the curd

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (5)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs and salt and whisk to a hom*ogeneous consistency. Place in saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Cook, whisking, constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, 2 pats at a time until it’s incorporated and has a silky consistency.

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (6)

Pour the lemon curd into the prepared tart shell and bake in the preheated oven until the lemon curd has set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.

Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (7)

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

One year ago:Ton Chan Ramen – San Gabriel
Two years ago:Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash and Fried Sage
Three years ago:Pitfire Pizza – Los Angeles (Culver City)
Four years ago:Steven’s Steakhouse‎ – Los Angeles (Commerce)
Five years ago:Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn – Ho Chi Minh City
Six years ago:Alma de Cuba – Philadelphia

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Meyer Lemon Curd Tart Recipe | Gastronomy (2024)


Why didn't my lemon curd get thick? ›

If your lemon curd hasn't thickened, it may not have been heated enough. It can take up to 30 minutes of constant stirring to cook lemon curd, especially if it's a large batch. Remember that curd will thicken more once cooled.

Why did my lemon tart curdle? ›

Why did my lemon tart curdle? If the lemon juice comes into direct contact with the eggs then the eggs will curdle. Be sure to whisk the eggs with the sugar first to minimize this effect. Another reason could be that the lemon curd was cooked on too high a heat, which can scramble the eggs.

How do you know when curd tart is set? ›

Set the tart in the oven for 20-22 minutes, until it's matte colored all over, the sides don't move when jiggled but there's a slight jiggle in the center of the tart. Chill first at room temperature, then set in the fridge to chill for 4-8 hours, or up to 2 days. Serve cold and store leftovers in the fridge.

How do you stiffen lemon curd? ›

Add a cornstarch slurry: First, ensure your curd is cooked to 170 degrees F and if it still hasn't thickened, whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.

Does homemade lemon curd thicken as it cools? ›

You will find that the lemon curd continues to thicken as it cools. Cover the lemon curd immediately with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and it can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Why does my lemon curd taste weird? ›

A metallic aftertaste is usually the consequence of the lemon curd coming into contact with a metal (especially while it's hot). This could be a metal whisk, a metal bowl, a metal (or metal-coated) saucepan, or a metal sieve.

Why did my lemon curd not set? ›

The few reasons to why your lemon curd may not be setting properly are not having enough eggs in the curd, too much liquid/ lemon juice, not enough sugar, not cooked long enough, scrambled eggs, and sometimes too much butter.

Why didn't my lemon tart set? ›

If the filling is runny and flowing out of the tart when you cut into it, then it is likely that the curd was not cooked for quite long enough. You need to be patient when cooking citrus curds as if you heat the mixture too quickly then it can curdle and become lumpy. You need to keep a low heat and stir constatntly.

How long does lemon curd take to thicken? ›

Whisking the whole time, cook until the mixture starts to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Can you overbake lemon curd? ›

What happens if I over-cook lemon curd? Overcooking will cause proteins to bond too tightly, squeezing water out from between them and giving them a rubbery, lumpy texture. If you over-heat the lemon curd, the egg proteins can coagulate and you will see little bits of cooked egg.

How many hours does it take for curd to set? ›

While in a warm climate, the curd will take around 4 to 7 hours, while it will take a bit longer in winters. In a cool climate it can easily take around 8 to 10 hours. Make sure the temperature of the milk before setting the curd is warm enough during winters, otherwise the curd won't set properly.

Why does tart dough have to be refrigerated in the pan before baking? ›

Our answer. Most pie dough/pastry benefits from a rest in the refrigerator as it allows the glutens in the flour to relax - this should help to give a more tender pie crust with less shrinkage. It can also give time for the liquids in the dough to be absorbed, giving slightly less dry spots in the pastry.

Why does my lemon curd taste eggy? ›

Make sure you don't let the curd come to a boil at any point, and don't stop stirring at any point either, because that will lead to the eggs curdling, and the curd will taste like scrambled eggs.

Why is my lemon curd frothy? ›

Follow the recipe exactly for best texture. If you use too many whole eggs, the egg white will cause foaming and the curd will end up foamy.

Does homemade lemon curd need to be refrigerated? ›

In a covered, airtight container for up to one week. It doesn't really freeze well. Lemon curd does contain eggs and dairy (butter), so I'd be ok leaving it out for the day if I plan on serving it, but anything overnight definitely would need to be refrigerated.

Why is my curd not thick? ›

The temperature is too low. If the temp is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the cultures will not ferment properly and the milk will stay runny. The temperature is too high. If the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the yogurt will ferment too fast and will also render the yogurt runny.

How do you add curd to thicken it? ›

Simply add a small amount of yogurt, like a spoonful, at a time. Stir your yogurt into the curry and keep adding a little more at a time until it reaches your desired thickness. This is great for Indian-style curries as a cream substitute.

Why is curd not setting? ›

Usually the temperature of milk determines how well your curd will set. Too cold or too hot temperature can make the curd setting process tougher. Firstly boil your milk properly and switch off the flame. Once the boiled milk cools down to 20 per cent, then the milk is ready to be set.

What makes curd thicker? ›

Use Full Cream Milk

Rich, full cream milk is considered best for making curd because of its high fat content. It results in a thicker, creamier texture often preferred by many people. Additionally, the fat in full cream milk can help create more flavour with a smooth, velvety texture.

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